Report: More aging baby boomers seeking treatment for illicit drug abuse

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Drug abuse treatment programs across the country are seeing more older users of illegal narcotics than ever before, according to a new report. 

Admissions of adults aged 50 and older in drug treatment programs has nearly doubled over the last two decades, to 12% in 2008 from 6.6% in 1992, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Among those older drug users, 16% were admitted for heroin use. That is twice the number from 1992. A total of 11% were admitted for cocaine use. That is more than four times the 1992 level, according to the report. Over the same period, the percentage of admissions for alcohol abuse among older adults dropped to 60% from 85%. 

The report is part of an ongoing SAMHSA survey of drug abuse treatment facilities. The findings echo those of a January report, which found that the need for drug treatment services for aging baby boomers is likely to double over the next 10 years. (McKnight's, 1/12/10